She noticed the pony for the first time when she was young, not long after she’d received her cutie mark. He had been sitting quietly in the back row at her mother’s funeral, noteworthy only in his utter lack of noteworthiness.
After the service, after the mourners had filed quietly out of the room, after the last of the well-wishers had extended their condolences for her loss, the filly noticed he was still in the rough stone chapel. She watched, peering from around the door with her family behind her, chatting amongst themselves in low murmurs, as the pony approached the casket at the front of the room.
There was something insubstantial about him that she couldn’t quite put her hoof on. A thinness that didn’t match his stocky body, a definite sense that he was far off in the distance yet right in front of her.
He delicately lifted a hoof, resting it on the lid of the polished wooden box, and gazed down at the wizened matriarch’s face. It was a severe fac